In the fine tradition of using catastrophes to one’s own advantage, the Church of Scientology has decided that Haitians injured in the recent earthquake require their dubious pseudo-medicine. AFP reports via Google News (WebCite cached article):

Scientologists ‘heal’ Haiti quake victims using touch

Amid the mass of aid agencies piling in to help Haiti quake victims is a batch of Church of Scientology “volunteer ministers”, claiming to use the power of touch to reconnect nervous systems.

Clad in yellow T-shirts emblazoned with the logo of the controversial US-based group, smiling volunteers fan out among the injured lying under makeshift shelters in the courtyard of Port-au-Prince’s General Hospital.

An anonymous benefactor is sending Scientolgists in, at great expense, to provide this important service to Haiti:

“We’re trained as volunteer ministers, we use a process called ‘assist’ to follow the nervous system to reconnect the main points, to bring back communication,” she said.

“When you get a sudden shock to a part of your body the energy gets stuck, so we re-establish communication within the body by touching people through their clothes, and asking people to feel the touch.”

Yeah, folks, this is yet another kind of “energy medicine,” which is just as bogus as every other kind of “energy medicine,” such as reiki, therapeutic touch, and more. Nevertheless, these Scientologists claim to have performed miracles:

Next to her lay 22-year-old student Oscar Elweels, whose father rescued him from the basement of his school where he lay with a pillar on his leg for a day after the deadly January 12 quake.

His right leg was amputated below the knee and his left leg was severely bruised and swollen. …

“One hour ago he had no sensation in his left leg, so I explained the method to him, I touched him and after a while he said ‘now I feel everything’,” said [the Scientologist known as] Sylvie.

“Otherwise they might have had to amputate his other leg. Now his sister knows the method and she can do it.”

The news isn’t all bad, though, as AFP goes on to say:

Another group of Scientologists distributed antibiotic pills. “The doctors said give everyone with wounds antibiotics,” said Italian volunteer Marina.

The Scientologists’ questionable care hasn’t gone unnoticed by true medical professionals on site; they appear to have taken advantage of the chaos to insinuate themselves into the clinics:

Some doctors at the hospital are skeptical. One US doctor, who asked not to be named, snorted: “I didn’t know touching could heal gangrene.”

When asked what the Scientologists are doing here, another doctor said: “I don’t know.”

Do you care? “Not really,” she said, wheeling an unconscious patient out of the operating room to join hundreds of others in the hospital’s sunny courtyard.

Sorry, but foisting quackery on Haitians, in the time of their greatest need — and when they are at their most vulnerable — in order to promote an ersatz religion, is — quite simply — wrong.

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